The Cardinals are a team that is suddenly leaking everywhere while the upstart, underwhelming Cincinnati Reds hang tough on their heels in the National League Central. The Cardinals' need for another outfield bat is best evidenced by the fact that their three big run producers, Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds have been together in the starting lineup only 61 of their 125 games. Edmonds, suffering from post concussion syndrome, has been limited to only pinch-hitting and pinch-running cameos in recent days, and his status the rest of the year is questionable.How will he reduce it? Bring up minor leaguers who would make the league minimum?
But the $20 million the Yankees were willing to absorb on Abreu was entirely out of the question for the Cardinals as was even the $6 million Green would have cost them. Jocketty will only say he has "budget constraints," but the fact is, Cardinal ownership is on the hook for $340 million in out-of-pocket construction costs on the new Busch Stadium, which is nevertheless sold out just about every game. At a shade under $90 million, Jocketty isn't being allowed to add to his payroll and, chances are, he will have to even reduce it over the winter. You can be certain that even though the Mets and Yankees are doling out twice as much as the Cardinals for their new stadiums, there will no similar constraints on their GMs.
As a result, while Brian Cashman and Omar Minaya have been able to do their shopping for the postseason at the high-end counter, Jocketty has had to resort to the retread market. In pitchers Jeff Weaver and Jorge Sosa, outfielder Preston Wilson and his latest pickup, old friend Jose Vizcaino, who arrived last night, Jocketty has signed four players who were released. And, trust us, there was sufficient reason for their being released.
Believe me, I want players that will put 110% in like Jim Edmonds, Pujols, Rolen, and Carpenter. I want a GM that will sign players that won't be DFA'd halfway through the season.